Jonathan Sykes







 Speech Title: How Smart Is Your Smart Grid?



Our beloved industry is experiencing change more now than any other time except possibly in the beginning when we were deciding between AC or DC power and we were converting the gas lamps of the 1880s to electric along the streets of our cities.  We know that the electric industry was the catalyst for improvement and opportunity across the world and set in motion a series of technology innovations that launched an ever increasing revolution of ideas and inventions.  The electric industry was built with cautious and deliberate steps over past 100 plus years.  However, in the last 10 years, there are pressures to change that grid and we must understand what this change will do to the wires and transformers, but also the core values of reliability, safety and affordability that were used to create the largest machine in history, the electric grid.  We must understand what our customers want, but also provide what they need and therein lies the dilemma.  PG&E in California is in the middle of this change as we position our company to meet the gauntlet of change.  This change is impacting our field teams, engineering applications and business models.  I am confident that the same fortitude of the people that built the industry will once again step up and bridge the “now” to the “end game” of this change and technology will be our holy grail.  It is venues like this that are necessary to share ideas and build collaboration to be successful for we all know, we succeed as a team.

About Jonathan Sykes:

Jonathan Sykes is the Senior Manager of System Protection at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, headquartered in San Francisco. Jonathan earned his Academic Training from the University of Arizona, USA and worked at Salt River Project, in Phoenix for more than 25 years before joining PG&E in 2009. He is a Professionally Licensed Electrical Engineer and Senior member of IEEE.
Jonathan has helped pave the path to introduction of technology for more than 16 million customers, where grid modernization and system reliability intersect and reach equilibrium. In the early 1990s, Jonathan led a team to provide the first integrated protective relay/RTU/SCADA systems in Arizona. In the early 2000s, his team implemented one of the first wide area “GOOSE” systems in the world and his PG&E team is now co-sponsoring the next generation, routable GOOSE (R-GOOSE). His team has built and provides oversight to more than 100 Remedial Action Schemes. Today, Jonathan leads a strong team of internationally recognized experts, Fellows of IEEE and distinguished lecturers, with extensive knowledge on Emergency System and Natural Calamity Response in the midst of a rapid changing grid aggravated by the injection of renewables and the loss of traditional generation. Jonathan sponsored collaboration that created a world class Proof of Concept facility that validates new techniques for the use of synchrophasor technology and he and his team are developing new concepts in the area of Asset Life Cycle Management.

Jonathan is a strong believer that knowledge needs to be shared and success is a result of collaboration that must occur regionally, nationally and internationally and must be in industry activities as well as regulatory oversight. Mr. Sykes participates and leads various activities in the electric industry of North America that include technical and regulatory bodies.


Shay Bahramirad







 Speech Title: Design, Planning and Operation of Grid of the Future and its elements.


The grid as we know it is changing dramatically. As customers expect ever higher degrees of reliability, and the growing salience of major weather events and cyber-security becomes ever more apparent, the increasing penetration of DERs are changing the entire direction of the grid. Technologies like Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles and Distributed Generation offer enormous opportunities, but also pose some challenges to the grid operations and planning. We must think anew and do anew. To that end, we will start to think of the utility as a platform, enabling DERs across the grid by integrating resource, transmission and distribution planning, properly valuing locational net benefits, making it possible for the grid to continue to function at the level customers and society expect.

About Shay Bahramirad:

Dr. Shay Bahramirad, IEEE Senior Member,  the Director of Distribution System Planning and Smart Grid & Technology, serves as a strategic business leader in Commonwealth Edison, the electric Utility in Illinois, working on the 21st century power grid transformation and the new energy economy. Her major responsibilities include leading Smart Grid organization across ComEd to develop the vision, business models, and investment strategy of the grid of the future initiatives such as emerging technologies, microgrids, and smart city deployments. She is also in charge of Distribution Planning and Generation Interconnections, each working to provide technical leadership and expertise that impact the long term safety, reliability, and affordability of the electric grid. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, teaching Microgrids, Elements of Sustainable Energy, and Smart Grid and serves as an executive board member of IEEE/PES on New Initiatives and Outreach working with industry executives, policy makers and legislators globally on new energy economy.
Dr. Bahramirad holds multiple advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is an Editorial Board Member of Electricity Journal, and Editor in Chief of P1854 Smart Distribution Application Guide.


Renato Céspedes







 Speech Title: Implementing The ENERNET: The Latin America Use Case.



One of the key developers of the INTERNET introduced the term ENERNET as the next generation electrical network that should be based on Smart Grid technologies. Smart Grids are becoming a reality in particular in developing countries. The implementation of renewable generation complemented by smart metering are leading smart grid solutions that are implemented in response to the need of green generation and an active demand. This presentation identifies Smart Grid functionalities that are key for implementing Smart Grid solutions to face problems of our electrical sectors in Latin America such as low reliability and high-energy losses. Use cases starting with the implementation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure are discussed based on the experience obtained in some countries. Important aspects of Smart Grid roadmaps are explored and illustrated including the summary and conclusions of the study “Colombia Smart Grid Vision 2030”. Final conclusions are presented encouraging the industry to start developing innovative solutions for the electrical sectors in the Region applying technologies that are becoming affordable and have a good benefit-cost ratio.

About Renato Céspedes:

Dr. Céspedes has extensive experience in the areas of strategic assessment of power system operations and the supporting technologies, regulations, procedures and tools that help governmental institutions and utilities to develop, operate and maintain more reliable and efficient, power systems, in the analysis and related operation issues of power systems, Smart Grid concepts and automation systems with SCADA/energy management systems (EMS) including associated communication systems, distribution management system (DMS) functions, Metering Systems, IT system integration and power system planning as a Consultant or as Project Manager or Project Engineer for systems implementation for several projects in four continents. He has lectured at universities in Colombia on power system analysis, optimization, and control theory.  Dr. Céspedes is a Senior Member of IEEE, has published numerous technical papers, and is conversant in Spanish, English, French, and German.
Dr. Céspedes has served as Consultant and Expert for various projects financed by the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Latin America Organization for Energy (OLADE).
Now, Dr. Céspedes is acting as RConsulting Group’s  Partner and CEO,  Colombian Consulting firm specializes in Smart Grid topics, automation & control center topics, and strategic assesment of utlities operation tools and related strategic and technological issues. Mr Cespedes has acted as Technical Coordinator of the “Colombia Inteligente” (Smart Colombia) iniciative. Also, Dr Cespedes is Professor of the National University of Colombia at the graduate program in electrical engineering.